When we were children we played games like King of the Mountain to prove our dominance and we arm wrestled to prove our strength. It was also fun to take a stick and stir up a puddle and see what came up from the bottom. As we got a little older the sarcastic “put down” enabled us to show off our adolescent intellect. It was also fun to do the unexpected and say things just for shock value. Then most of us grew up. We worked hard and learned the skills that would move us ahead in life. We came to appreciate knowledge and enjoyed learning about the world around us. We acknowledged both our strengths and our shortcomings. We came to respect others for who they were, not what they were. We learned to enjoy the challenge of learning what lay below the surface of an issue or a person. Yet we know that there were some who remained shallow, arrogant and intellectually lazy. One of those whose intellectual and emotional growth was stinted is named Donald J. Trump.
Trump viewed the primary debates as a TV version of King of the Mountain. It provided him an opportunity to show off his intellect by using sharp-tongued “put downs” and he even found an opportunity to metaphorically show off his masculine prowess. Trump also has shown himself adept at stirring the puddle and bringing to the surface the sludge that inhabit the bottom. At his rallies Trump is expected to do and say the unexpected while he assiduously avoids providing more than a superficial platitude-filled treatment of any issue. We have been told that “he isn’t a politician” in an effort to explain his non-tradiitional approach to his bid for the presidency. When that explanation is challenged we are told that we are forgetting that this approach effectively defeated 16 opponents in the primaries and that he received more votes during that period than any candidate in Republican primary history. Finally we have been told on two occasions that his campaign is restructuring and revamping for the general election campaign ahead. He has fired two campaign managers and is now on his third plus an additional person with the unusual title of CEO. His campaign structure seems to be a hybrid of a traditional campaign and a corporation. However, regardless of the efforts to somehow reign in this 70-year-old adolescent, he is still undisciplined and unpredictable.
What is particularly disturbing about Trump and his approach to this campaign is its superficiality. His crass and intellectually shallow statements are so transparent as to be almost comical. His recent approach to the black and latino communities by way of married suburban women lacked subtlety and factual honesty. It’s as if he believes that if he suddenly says something contrary to the racist and bigoted approach he has followed throughout his campaign people will just change their minds and say to themselves “well maybe he isn’t a racist after all”. His sudden surprise trip to Mexico, designed to make him appear “presidential”, is another play at trying to change minds. But does he really expect that after 14 months of behaving with a total lack of maturity, appearing more like a teenager struggling to be noticed than a president, that this trip is going to change any minds? But this emotionlally immature adolesent-like candidate changed his mood again for tonight’s immigration speech. He reverted back to his arrogant, macho, king of the mountain self. In so doing he showed himslef to be a true demegogue and extremely dangerous.
Dozens of Republicans and Democrats alike have stated that Donald J. Trump is neither temperamentally or intellectually fit to be our president. They voice real concern regarding our national security and our continued leadership among the community of nations. Their fear is real and informed. Trump is shallow, arrogant and intellectually lazy. He is a danger to both our country and the world.